Let’s face it, for the most part things at the SCOTUS have gotten rather tedious. But Brown represents a possible departure from the norm.

A strange grant. There were only two indications that there was any SCOTUS interest at all – a) the government was the Petitioner; and b) and there was one, just one relist – before cert was granted.

More importantly, it’s an interesting grant. What is SCOTUS actually up to here? Why the seemingly sudden, out-of-the-blue interest in this case, a habeas case?

Brecht and Chapman are similar ideas, and both are very useful – not to mention favorable – to the government in preserving criminal convictions on appeal and on collateral review. Although notably, Brecht pertains only to the latter. Chapman applies across the board, on direct appeal as well as collateral review. Or does Chapman apply on collateral review at all since Brecht does already and Chapman is “subsumed” into Brecht?

We’re on pins and needles over here at LoS. We may have a personal and professional connection to this development. We may in fact have to do something about it all. Time will tell.

An odd tidbit here. We are going only from memory, but it seems to us we spoke with an attorney named Chad Readler back when he was arguing McQuiggin v. Perkins before the SCOTUS on behalf of the poor innocent schmuck He was in the Columbus Ohio office of Jones Day at the time. We were interested in McQuiggin at that time. We had a case that might have been affected by the outcome. At that time. And maybe now, too.

Mr. Readler has gone on to be appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th circuit. By then President Trump.

He sat on the relevant panel and authored the dissent in Brown v. Davenport.

Interesting, no?